My last post, The Path of Leaving the Trans* Community, generated a fair bit of traffic and great Twitter feedback, so I’ve been working on the second version to incorporate the feedback and generally make it look a bit prettier than my first slapdash effort.
As I was moving process blocks around, four distinct phases of Trans* community involvement emerged to me. Upon reflection, this is really a model of community participation in general, with some descriptive text specific to the Trans* experience.
In the interest of providing a framework for discussion around community involvement, I’ve put together the following infographic.
What I’ve noticed over the years is that most people end up in the Invisible Zone after at most a few years in the Participation Zone, with a handful moving into the Activist Zone. Based on community wisdom, it seems that most move to the Invisible Zone to either protect themselves (from being outed after transition or toxic communities) or the community is no longer relevant to them.
No one knows how many people are in the Invisible Zone, but my gut is telling me that it’s at least an order of magnitude larger than the number of people in the Participation Zone.
I have two questions I’d like to pose to the community at large:
- Are there ways in which those in the Invisible Zone could participate in advancing the general Trans* experience without losing their self-selected invisibility?
- How do we count the uncountable?